Bill Gates has been in "retirement" for less than a month (heading his Foundation may be harder than being Microsoft CEO) and already open source advocates have settled on a replacement.
As I wrote earlier this week, "meet the new boss, same as the old boss."
Jobs' Apple simply does not pose the same threat to open source Gates' Microsoft did back in 2005, when ZDNet launched this blog.
Microsoft had a lock on the desktop, it had a strong position in the server space, it had a real position in online services and mobile. It even had its own TV network. Not to mention lawyers and lobbyists talented enough to beat the U.S. government.
Apple has a tiny desktop market share, nothing in the server space. Its power lies in gadgets -- the iPod and iPhone -- and the network services feeding them. That's it. That's all.
I suspect this has more to do with human nature than business reality. Gates always focused intently on one enemy at a time, and always felt himself the underdog. This was part of his strength.
But open source is not a company. Open source is a lot of things. A movement. A business model. A development model. A legal framework. (Insert your view here.) But not a business.
My own belief is that Jobs' absolute belief in the proprietary model will, in the end, be his undoing. He lost a six-year lead in desktop technology because of it. The iPhone could easily fall to the same hubris.
Don't make Steve Jobs out to be more than he is. Stop worrying about what he's going to do to open source.
Make him worry about what open source is going to do to him.